For some reason this 15th year anniversary of 9/11 has affected me more than the other anniversaries of that fateful date in American and World history. It started when I decided to respond on a public forum about where I was that day. Soon long buried memories were flooding back to me! It is still difficult to acknowledge the tragedy and the grief so many have felt since that day. And how the world has changed, our whole culture shifting to acknowledge as a day to day fact of life that terrorists can and will continue to strike.
On September 11th 2001, I was at home in bed and a friend called me to “TURN ON THE TV!” around 7:30 a.m. – I thought “huh?” but went ahead and turned on the TV to see video of the first plane crashing into the tower. It seemed so surreal, but of course I kept watching all day, horrified at what was going on in NYC. The next day I went to an interfaith memorial service held at Grace Cathedral on Nob Hill in San Francisco. During this service of national mourning the music and a choir from Oakland sang so beautifully that it made me cry even today to think about how we all felt that day. Because while I was in that church, I experienced a huge sense of spirituality permeating and surrounding the place and during this time I felt one of the people who had died contact me. She was desperate about having left this life without a proper goodbye to her family and children. And I also saw in my mind a replay of what had happened to her in the second tower when it came down. That was on my mind for a long time and I later tried to figure out who she was from pictures I saw posted of the missing from that day. I believed I found her there, but of course I can never know for sure.
I will not recount here what I saw in this vision, or the other contacts I felt with this person off and on for days and weeks after that. But back in 2001 I did search online for any information I could find on this person and her family. I thought of contacting them but was always too confused and uncertain whether I should pursue that or whether I should even trust my own perceptions. Many people simply don’t believe in this type of thing and I didn’t want to make anything worse at a difficult time.
With my memories stirred up today, I felt this person again with a sense that she is more at peace now, but still with thoughts of her family. I have never talked very much about this whole experience, because I don’t want to be ridiculed I guess, or because I can’t be sure, or whatever. But all day I have felt the need to say her name out loud again. To publish her name. To remember her. Whenever I think of 9/11 I will forever think of Grace Alegre Cua, a name now inscribed on the 9/11 Memorial for posterity. And I wish her family well wherever they are.